Firefighter Aptitude Test: 20 Important Facts you need to Know

By | July 16, 2023
Firefighter Aptitude Test
The firefighter aptitude test is usually required to be taken when applying for a firefighter job.

There are many applicants that sit for the firefighter aptitude test during the hiring process, but scoring highly can distinguish you from other test-takers.

The firefighter aptitude test can sometimes appear awesome, but you will see that the exam can typically be passed with little effort once you break it down and practice each section individually.

Although the process to become a firefighter is not easy, the exam can lead to an enjoyable and satisfying career. The test has various aspects and differs from state to state and within each municipality.

For you to thoroughly prepare for any firefighter job you wish to apply for, you should first understand the basic steps you need to take.

According to the statement of a lot of firefighters, the process took many weeks. Don’t forget that endurance helps greatly when applying for a firefighter role.

20 Important Facts about Firefighter Aptitude Test you need to Know

Here are some of the important facts and tips you need to know about the firefighter aptitude test to help you excel in it:

  1. What is a Firefighter Aptitude Test?

There is no standardized assessment exam that applicants are required to take when applying for a firefighter role because the requirements for each municipality differ.

Nevertheless, a lot of fire departments make use of related exams, such as an aptitude test and a personality test.

The aptitude and personality tests are taken at the same time in some cases and are components of a similar written test. Candidates are required to take them separately in other departments.

2. What are the requirements for the Firefighter Aptitude Test?

In order to become a firefighter, there are several requirements you should meet for eligibility. These include:

  • Age
  • A High school diploma or GED
  • Medical and psychological test
  • Background check
  • Drug test

Before you will be allowed to participate in the firefighter aptitude test, you must be at least 18 years and need to be 21 to be employed. The limit for an upper age might be placed around 30 years old.

The candidate will be required to pass a background check, such as checking the candidate’s driving experience and criminal record.

Candidates must prove that they are both mentally and physically competent to carry out the duties of the job.

3. What is the hiring process for Firefighters in the United States?

The first process of employment as a firefighter is to look for a job posting that sounds like a good fit for you, which you can find at online job boards where firefighter postings are listed. Know that some departments would rather hire candidates who live within their region.

The next thing to follow after the fire department has approved your application is to take written assessments, including a personality test and an aptitude test. There may be a psychological assessment during this stage, too.

After that, potential firefighters are required to pass a physical fitness test sometimes known as PAT, in which they are assured of enough physical condition to enter a fire training academy.

Candidates taking the PAT are required to demonstrate that they can run a certain distance, climb steps fast carrying heavy equipment, and elevate 200 pounds.

Some fire departments assess candidates separately, while others require that candidates get their Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) card from a third party.

After all the tests and the fitness assessment, an interview follows immediately. You will start training for the job if your interview is successful.

4. What to Expect on the Day of your Firefighter Aptitude Test

It’s highly recommended that you arrive one hour before the firefighter aptitude test to make sure you complete any additional documents required.

Make out about 2 to 3 hours to be there to complete the assessment, but that depends on the category of the test. Remember you need to sign in and out, also, and that is time.

You may take some water and snacks with you, and dress properly. Put on business attire and turn your phone off. If you have a hat or a jacket, they should be kept beneath your chair before the testing starts.

CPS is often offered on scantron cards, while the NFST is a test is presented on a computer screen.

5. How to Pass the Firefighter Aptitude Test

You must have to develop good study practice if you really desire to pass the firefighter aptitude test. The tips here will help you to achieve this.

Here are what to do in order to pass the firefighter aptitude test:

  • Read, study, and take practice examinations.
  • Hire a qualified coach. 
  • Create a schedule for studying and stick to it.
  • Study without disruption for at least 30 to 60 minutes.
  • Simulate examination conditions when studying.
  • Ensure you understand every answer to your firefighter sample questions.
  • Follow the suggested methods for answering multiple-choice questions.

6. Common Firefighter Interview Questions

If you are pursuing a firefighter career, the interview you will face will include standard questions, such as ‘what you’ve studied from past challenges and why you are looking for a new position’.

During the interview, you will be asked whether you have an emergency situation experience, how you took care of the situation, whether you have a routine to maintain physical fitness, and also to illustrate a scenario in which you witnessed a troubled person and assisted him or her.

The interview questions include public speaking, which is part of the common tasks for a firefighter. It is the duty of the firefighter to talk about fire safety in public places such as schools.

Your interviewer may ask about your volunteer experience. You are not required to volunteer but that can help you stand out among other applicants.

It’s particularly useful if your volunteer work includes responsibility, public service, leadership, or other tasks related to fire service.

7. What types of Questions are included in the Firefighter Aptitude Test?

The types of questions you may come across during your firefighter aptitude test are listed here:

  • Math problems

The fire department uses mathematics to see your capacity to control data embodied by symbols to create information in a form that is more important than the original data.

So, decisions are made based on mathematics.

  • Mechanical aptitude problems

Mechanical aptitude assesses your ability to understand the principles of mechanics. You need to know that there are two types of machines (the simple and compound machines), and so on.

  • Writing ability problems

Writing ability is used to measure how successfully you can communicate your ideas and formulate a proper response in a given time.

  • Work relations problems (human relations)

When taking the firefighter aptitude test, it’s very important to remember work relations. In your career, there are lots of people to relate with.

You are therefore assessed to see how you would react during interactions with people.

  • Reading comprehension problems

Reading comprehension is used to examine your ability to read a passage and spot relevant information from that passage.

You may be asked to explain the original idea in a clear format or put items in a certain passage in some order.

  • Listen to passage (oral information problems)

This section evaluates your ability to understand and remember the information being offered to you. The skill is necessary enough to know so you may develop the competence to understand one another and the public.

  • Map reading problems

Your ability to make judgments concerning how to traverse areas in the most direct route without breaking the laws or rules is tested with map reading problems.

8. Preparing for your Firefighter Aptitude Test?

Online practice tests will assist you to understand any weak areas you can work on if you truly want to prepare for the firefighter aptitude test. This will help build your confidence when you take your test

You need knowledge of fire safety and emergency procedures as well as other topics that are important before your aptitude test.

In addition, you also need to get information regarding firefighting, as well as study materials covering more general practice such as math and reading comprehension.

It will also help to meet a local firefighter for more knowledge before your testing day. Ensure you ask questions about what attributes have led to his success at the job.

9. What are the types of Firefighter Aptitude Tests?

Here are the types of commonly used firefighter aptitude tests:

  • Firefighter Aptitude and Character Test (FACT) 
  • National Fire Select Test (NFST)
  • National Testing Network (NTN)
  • Occupational Skills Assessment (OS)
  • Cooperative Personnel Service Test (CPS).

10. Firefighter Entry Aptitude Test (FEAT) Paperback

There are firefighter entry aptitude test (FEAT) passbooks sold at Amazon that are designed to help you prepare for your test by allowing you to utilize practice tests in the subjects you need to study.

There are hundreds of questions and answers you can find in these books in the areas that may be covered on your upcoming tests, such as mechanical drawings, graphs, maps, arithmetical reasoning, understanding and interpreting written material, charts, and lots more.

11. Next Generation Entry-Level Firefighter Aptitude Test (NGFF)

The Next Generation Entry Firefighter Aptitude Test or NGFF was first launched by the CWH Research as their initial entry-level firefighter exam.

The NGFF integrates an easy cognitive ability measure with several situational judgment measures and a mechanical aptitude measure.

The NGFF centers on using tools and measures that have minimal effect on protected classes. The NGFF’s scoring algorithm centers on increasing diversity.

12. Firefighter Aptitude and Character Test (FACT)

The Firefighter Aptitude and Character Test is a pass-or-fail kind of test designed for an entry-level firefighter that is used by OFAI – Ontario Fire Administration Inc.

The General Aptitude Test, which contains 45% of overall marks, and Personality Inventory that includes 55% of overall marks are included in the test.

Similar to the CPS firefighter aptitude test, the general aptitude test includes the following categories and is weighted at 45% of your overall score.

It contains Reading Ability (15 questions), Mathematical Reasoning (15 questions), Map Reading (10 questions), and Writing Ability (10 questions).

The Personality Inventory part of this firefighter aptitude test assesses your work attitude, morals, and looks to grab different anti-social conducts, such as drug attitudes, theft attitudes, anti-social admissions, and so on. There are 60 questions in the test and it’s weighted at 55%.

13. Further things you should know about the Firefighter Aptitude and Character Test

What else do you need to know about the firefighter aptitude and character test? These have been listed here as points you should study, including:

  • Three hours are offered to complete the test.
  • The results are valid for 24 months if passed.
  • You can re-take the test after fifteen days if failed if it’s your first time.
  • If failed and it’s your second attempt, you can re-take the test after thirty days on all of your several attempts.
  • The test is completed in a lab environment.  

14. Cooperative Personnel Services Test (CPS)

The Cooperative Personnel Service Test (CPS) is a multiple-choice firefighter aptitude test that is used by FireOntario – Firefighter Services of Ontario Ltd.

The test contains a total of 100 questions and offers a time limit of 2 hours to complete. It’s designed purposely for measuring your skills, knowledge, and ability to succeed as a firefighter in this present environment.

This assessment contains a series of questions divided into segments to assess your understanding of oral and written information, mechanical drawings, arithmetic reasoning, diagrams, and maps. For you to pass, you need an average score of 70.

The following components are included in the CPS test:

  • Listen to passage (Oral Information passage): This contains 20 questions.
  • Mathematics: This test has a total of 20 questions.
  • Mechanical Aptitude: This part of the test contains 20 questions.
  • Reading Comprehension: This section of the test consists of 25 questions.
  • Work Relations (Dealing with People): This is a part of the test that comprises 15 questions.  

15. Occupational Skills Test (OS)

The Occupational Skills test is a written assessment test commonly known as the Occupational Specific Firefighter (OSFF) test or the Gledhill Shaw OS Firefighter Test.

The Gledhill Shaw offers three tests, such as the Written Aptitude Test, the Written Assessment Test, and the Physical Test.

Many of these tests are slightly different from the CPS testing process because they include emergency response scenarios and workplace-related questions.

The Written Assessment Test is administered on a computer screen, serving as a functional characteristics preparedness test on functional characteristics that are vital for firefighter performance.

A variety of questions relevant to specific emergency situations and workplace environments are asked, as well as basic logical and mathematical reasoning.

There is a two-hour-fifteen-minute time limit on the OS Firefighter Aptitude Test and 250 questions to complete.

16. National Fire Select Test (NFST)

This test contains two sections including the general aptitude test and the personality inventory. It’s designed for an entry-level firefighter and a pass/fail type of test.

The General Aptitude Test is similar to the CPS firefighter aptitude test and includes the following categories:

  • Human Relations: This contains commitment, integrity, emotional stability, interpersonal skills, and teamwork.
  • Reasoning Skills: This contains mechanical aptitude, spatial rotation, reasoning, and vocabulary.
  • Mathematical Reasoning
  • Reading Ability
  • Map Reading.
  • Writing Ability.

The personality inventory part of the firefighter aptitude test assesses your work attitude and morals, as well as looks to grab different anti-social behaviors such as drug attitudes, theft attitudes, anti-social admissions, and more.

17. National Testing Network (NTN)

The FireTEAM Test is administered by the National Testing Network as an entry-level examination for firefighting.

There are four basic parts of the FireTEAM (National Testing Network) assessment and these include the following:

  • Reading Comprehension

This uses a fill-in-the-blank format where you will be required to choose the word that best completes the sentence.

  • Mathematics

This section is presented as multiple-choice questions in a video format. You will be required to perform diverse calculations in the form of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, proportions, and rates. You won’t be allowed to use a calculator in all the calculations.

  • Mechanical Aptitude

This test contains multiple-choice questions in the form of video, involving daily equipment, tools, and fundamental mechanical principles. Your answers should be based on your understanding of simple objects.

  • Teamwork and Human Relations

This section is assessed in a multiple-choice video format. You will be asked to choose the best alternative that is either “best” or “worst’ action to take based on the information presented in the video. This actually depends on the specifics of the questions.

This test is different because of its interactive character. It contains components as video answers where you watch videos and then answer questions based on what you saw.

18. You need to prepare for your test day

You have to get familiar with the location and the facilities of the test. Any limitations on your movements during the test session will be made known to you by instructions.

Take the time to read all of the instructions and directions you receive from the agency conducting the test and abide by them.

You may be eliminated from the testing process or your score affected if you fail to follow the instructions given.  

19. What you should do on the day of your Firefighter Aptitude Test

Make sure you arrive early on the day of your test so you won’t be denied access to the test paper.

Your clothing on that day should make you feel comfortable to double up your clothes if there is a cold breeze or an over-air-conditioned room. And so you will have to take off hard jackets if the room gets hot.

You will be informed about how much time you have to answer the questions after you have been given the test instructions on the day of the test.

Remove your watch and keep it on the table in front of you in order to keep track of your time and progress. You should be given all the materials you need to respond to the test, including test answer forms, scratch paper, and pencils.

Leave all of your test preparation materials or notes outside of the testing location. As soon as the test has started, you may not refer to any other study materials.

Make certain to go back and check that you have answered all of the questions when you have reached the end of the test.

You will be instructed to choose the “best” or “most correct” alternative from four to five options during the test.

Most applicants find it helpful to read the entire question and all of the alternatives before selecting the best or most correct alternative.

Reading all of the alternatives is better as you may find one that is a better answer than the one you first thought was accurate.

Go back and review your answers if you have time after you have answered all of the questions. You may have remembered something later that could help you to correctly answer earlier questions.

20. Do not leave any answers blank during your Firefighter Aptitude Test

Your answers are determined based on the number of correct responses you provide to the questions. The other way round, you will be penalized for any blank answers that you give.

You need to guess what the correct answer might be even if you don’t know the correct answer to a given question. That will tend to yield more marks for you. 

Firefighter Aptitude Test Practice Questions and Answers

Practicing sample questions and answers will help you prepare thoroughly for your forthcoming exam. You need to know the format of the questions and the answers, and you can’t know them without serious practice.

Here are sample questions that you will likely meet during your firefighter aptitude test, with answers to boost your preparation:

Question 1 – Writing Ability Section

Select the pair of words that best makes up the sentence.

  1. Determine _____ or not a crime has in fact been _____ and, if so, what type of crime.
  1. “if” and “committed”
  2. “if” and “completed”
  3. “whether” and “committed”
  4. “weather” and “committed”

The correct answer is C.

2. Be _____ of observable things and _____ of persons quick to produce identification or

  1. “caution” and “weary”
  2. “cautious” and “wary”
  3. “aware” and “skeptacle”
  4. “cautious” and “skepticle”

The correct answer is B.

3. Which of the following sentences is most acceptable, considering grammar, spelling, and punctuation as well as ease of understanding?

  1. Employee coming to work must input the time on their time card.
  2. Employees coming to work must input the time on their time card.
  3. Employees coming to work must input the time on there time card.
  4. Employee’s coming, to work must input the time on their time card.

The correct answer is B.

Math Section

  1. A firefighter determines that 350 feet of hose is needed to reach a particular building. What is the minimum number of lengths of hose required if the hoses are 60 feet in length?
  1. 3
  2. 4
  3. 5
  4. 6

The correct answer is D.

2. Office sprinkler heads spray water at an average of 25 gallons per minute (GPM). How many total gallons of water will be released in 15 minutes if 4 sprinkler heads are flowing at the same time and at the same rate?

  1. 100
  2. 315
  3. 375
  4. 1,500

The correct answer is D.


The firefighter aptitude test measures your skills, knowledge, and ability to succeed as a firefighter.

You will meet a series of questions divided into sections meant to evaluate your understanding of written and oral information, mechanical drawings, arithmetic reasoning, diagrams, and maps.

There are study guides and test preparation courses online to improve your skills and help you pass the firefighter aptitude test.

>> Learn how to make a great score in Firefighter Aptitude Test; prepare effectively for the test with Practice Tests consisting of detailed explanations of answers.